New Scholarships for Maryland’s Community College Students

Maryland FlagIn May 2018, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships act to help eligible students afford community college.

Starting with the 2019–2020 academic year, there will be a $15 million annual, “last dollar” scholarship, which requires students to access all other eligible financial aid (grants and scholarships) before Maryland’s College Promise scholarship funds, up to $5,000 per year, are awarded.

Other requirements include full-time enrollment (at least 12 credits per semester) in a community college for a vocational certificate, a credit certificate, or an associate degree, within two years of graduating high school or completing a GED; a high school GPA of 2.3 or higher and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA at a Maryland community college; and an annual adjusted gross income of not more than $100,000 if the applicant is single or resides in a single-parent household, or $150,000 if applicant is married or resides in a two-parent household.

Applicants must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Recipients may receive the award for a maximum of three years. Recipients must agree to complete a service obligation for each year they receive the scholarship. In addition, recipients must work in Maryland one year for each year of scholarship awarded or the scholarships convert to loans and must be repaid.

Montgomery College students should prepare themselves for the increasing demands of the state’s jobs. By 2020, nearly 70 percent of Maryland jobs will require a postsecondary education, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. According to the Maryland Longitudinal Data Center, 40 percent of Maryland high school graduates do not enroll in college within one year of graduating from high school. Meanwhile, Maryland employers in high-demand fields contend with unfilled positions and insufficiently skilled applicants.

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